The path has been now truly set for a Global Open Internet which shall have consequences for state sovereignty. Here there shall also be knock-on consequences for the UN inter-governmental ITU and in particular the WRC.
I quote from Schmidt and Cohan (Chapter 3): "To whit, we believe it's possible that virtual states will be created and will shake up the online landscape of physical states in the future" Indeed! I shall come back to this important matter another time. Although one aspect here the "Free Traders" shall be brought to confront is with regards to Peoples: there are Races and Nations and a common-good or indeed a common-wealth but there are no "countries"; countries are merely political constructs.
Whereas we have been bombarded with the debate over the word "sovereignty" by the "take back control" cabal, the watchword now for an Open Internet shall be "legitimacy". The reader needs look back no further than Lawrence's critique above for evidence of this eventuality.
I would simply ask the JMB the following open question: how do you propose to take back control of the Open Internet?
As for a critique of the former President? There shall be a whole industry of books and commentary on his tenure to which I have two points to contribute.
First he shall go down as the 4G President. Secondly he is the first President who truly grasped and understand technology policy not just the Internet. That said it was in 2003 under the Directives of President Bush that the world was set on course for the 5G Spectrum Sharing Era.
The lesson for our current crop of UK politicians is that a firm grasp and appreciation of technology policy shall be a prerequisite for the 5G Era, otherwise the Millennials shall see through your entrenched ignorance and prejudice (sorry political differences). Technology is indeed a generational thing.
Hopefully though we have not heard the last of former President Obama's wise counsel.
Thus I shall merely bid all our American friends a fond farewell until we do.
I could not usher in the new US Administration without a few comments on the new Secretary of Commerce: Wilbur Ross. Wilbur is no stranger to our industry or the UK itself.
Firstly, after the Referendum result he abandoned his interest in pursuing British Steel.
Secondly he then disposed of his substantial shareholding in Vodafone.
As for his priority, personally, I would not be taken in by the smoke and mirrors act. I would also ignore the "Alternative Fact" and "Fake News" media sparing as this is also all an act, merely encompassing the"Salting the Battlefield" for a US Trade Pact with China. For that is the true fundamental policy difference between this Administration and the previous one. Whereas President Obama sought to surround and contain China with the TPP coalition, this administration is out to confront China directly. With the prize of global semiconductor leadership for 5G to be contested between them surely we have an interest in the outcome. But don't tell the JMB!
Of course we all already know that OFCOM still lack Open Internet and Net Neutrality enshrined in UK law, consequently they shall provide no protection for us. Hence why the UK is heading for a Darwinian Closed Internet unless certain arbitration safeguards are put in place from the EU. I say this with due regard to the speech Sharon White made to the Institute for Government, on the 1st December wherein Sharon states:
"Now, as the UK prepares to leave the EU, decisions will be made about the laws that should apply here in the future.
This is an important process: one that will determine the future direction of our communications services, and their impact on people and businesses, for years to come.
So I believe a triple test should be applied when deciding which EU laws should continue to apply in the UK. Of each and every measure, we should ask ourselves three crucial questions.
* Does it prioritise the interests of UK consumers and the wider public?
* Does it promote competition and investment?
* And it does it support UK companies' ability to trade successfully in the EU, and globally?
So how do we ensure that new UK laws, and future regulations, pass that triple test?
The answer lies in our approach to the EU frameworks. For us, that should mean three things:
* Retaining what works in the EU framework;
* Improving it, where it may be deficient; and
Avoiding making things worse, by inadvertently weakening powers or protections."
Simply a case of parochialism writ large?
The above approach seems to me fair for a competition regulator, but for an aspiring global technology regulator it is backward looking in seeking to retain the status quo. This approach needs to be replaced for 5G where the technology standards are currently being set in place; especially now that Qualcomm have begone to market their first 5G Chip set in the US.
Best Regards and a belated Happy New Year.
25th January 2017
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